Eeeek! Fitness Faux Pas: 5 Common Mistakes People Make While Working Out In The Gym / by PJ Monson

free weights

Before we get into the nitty gritty of gym no-no's, I want to begin by giving big kudos to everyone that finds the time to fit in a workout on a regular basis, whether it's in a gym or in your living room. This blog is meant to inspire not reprimand! As trainers, we know how hard it can be to make the time to fit in a regular workout routine, so we are always looking for ways for you to make the most out of your allotted fitness time!

1. "Get Your Hands Off My…..!"  This is a frequent mistake we see. Get your hands off my treadmill, meaning stop holding on when running or walking on cardio equipment that does not have the moving handles. I know the machines can be rather big and intimidating but it is better to go at a slower pace with control than a faster pace where you feel too nervous to let go of the handles. Treadmills, for example, already give you a little help with they conveyor belt whipping your feet back. If you are holding on, then your core and legs are doing even less work to propel your body forward. Your exercise benefits are drastically reduced and you are better off taking a walk around the block!

*On a similar note, if there are handles on the machines, make sure you are standing upright while holding on to them. Lot's of people, without noticing, tend to lean into them which takes effort away from the core!

2. I Just Cured Cancer During Your Rest Break! During a workout the rest intervals can be just as important as the workouts themselves. Now this rule definitely depends on your goals for a particular workout.

  • For Metabolic/Circuit/Muscle Endurance Training the rest time is anywhere from 20-60 sec.
  • For Increasing Strength/Muscle Power the rest time is 2-5 minutes.
  • For Toning/Building Muscle the rest time is 1-3 minutes.

The time ranges may seem vast, but this is because certain exercises are going to be more intensive than others. For example, more time needs to be taken when doing compound exercises or working bigger muscle groups, i.e., legs and back.

* Always take a little extra time if you are feeling light headed or nauseas. Contrary to popular belief, throwing up is not a cool thing to do while working out so immediately sit down and grab some water!

3. "Don't Be Monotony Molly!" One of the most miraculous things about our body is its ability to adapt. This works in our favor when exploring new movements in sports and exercise that might be outside our comfort zone, but can work against us when it comes to weight loss results. Simply put, if you do the same workout every time then your body learns to adapt, thus not having to work as hard and reducing progress. Not only are you boring yourself, but your also boring your body!

*Even if you know you are only a "treadmill" person, it does not mean you have to run the same pace for the same distance at the same amount of time every time! Change it up by altering the incline and speed, and you will keep the intensity needed to meet your goals.

4. Don't Be "The Wanderer!" You can waste tons of valuable time by wandering around the gym for something to jump out and inspire you. Make a plan before you get there. A well-equipped gym is good in the sense that it gives you options, but sometimes too many options can make you feel too overwhelmed to make a decision. Figure out what you want to do before you get there and save yourself some precious time.


5. "Not Good! If You Know Who Did It On Law & Order Before The Detectives Do!" Working out is as much mental as it is physical. You need to keep your head in the game at all times to get the most out of your workout. I know the cardio equipment can get boring, but doing things like correcting mistake #3 can help you. Studies also show that people who listen to music tend to push themselves harder than people who watch television. If working out were easy then everyone would do it. It takes mental strength and discipline to not only get you to the gym, but also to keep you focused on making the most out of what you have decided to do for that day.

When it comes to a good workout, think quality over quantity. Time, itself, will not get you results. It's what you do with that time that counts! Bring it!